David Scott Mitchell is now serving in a new board position at Knox College

Jul 08, 2019
Board and Executive Moves
Background Information
Knox College was founded in 1837 by anti-slavery social reformers, led by George Washington Gale. Many of the founders, including the Rev. Samuel Wright, actively supported the Underground Railroad. The original name for the school was Knox Manual Labor College, but it has been known by its present name since 1857. The college's name came about through a compromise among its founders. Though founded by a colony of Presbyterians and Congregationalists, the county in which the college is located was already named Knox County, after Henry Knox, the first United States Secretary of War. Arguments have been made that the college was named for Calvinist leader John Knox, but it is not certain for which Knox it was named (if not both). George Candee Gale, a great-great-grandson of two of the founders, explains that "contrary to general belief, Knox was not named for either General Knox or the Scottish Presbyterian Knox, according to my father ... Some wanted the college named for one Knox, some for the other; so they compromised on KNOX. Certainly most of them were pious enough to want the churchman and fighters enough to want the soldier as well. Knox was the site of the fifth debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in 1858. The Old Main building is the only site from the debates that stands today. Two years after the debates, and during his presidential campaign, Lincoln was awarded the first honorary doctorate ever conferred by Knox Collegeā€”a Doctor of Laws degree, announced at the commencement exercises of 5 July 1860